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What is Parkinson's disease?
Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that involves impaired protein clearance, mitochondrial damage and inflammation in the brain. The average age of onset for Parkinson’s disease is 60 years old however, it can be seen in people much younger.
More than half of patients with Parkinson's Disease may develop Parkinson's Disease Dementia (PDD). PDD includes Lewy body dementia, characterized by the abnormal aggregation of proteins inside nerve cells. Patients with Parkinson's Disease and mild cognitive impairment are six times more likely to develop dementia than age-matched controls.
Signs & Symptoms
PD is primarily a motor disorder where patients suffer from tremors in their extremities and head, stiff limbs and inability to relax muscles during episodes. Patient's experience slower movement and impaired balance, which puts them at risk for falls and other injuries.
PD and PDD can involve a number of symptoms.
PD is a progressive disease that can cause numerous cognitive and behavioral deficits including increased anxiety, difficulty thinking and speaking, sleep disturbances, and dementia.
PD occurs in greater than 1% of the world population. It is the second most commonly occurring neurodegenerative disorder in the United States and Europe, approximately affecting more than 1.5 million Americans and 1.2 million Europeans. Worldwide, over 10 million people are diagnosed with PD, which has become the 14th leading cause of death. PD affects 2% of the population over the age of 65 and 10% of people older than 80 years of age. Dementia is a common symptom of PD, occurring in up to 80% of PD patients.